Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Linguine with Tomatoes, Basil...and Balance

In yoga practice when you lean to the left and then to the right, you always come back to center and pause for physical and mental balance. Maintaining the same balance in life isn't always that easy. Sometimes we just need to stop and let life find it's own center....to temper adventure with contemplation....friends and family with solitude....work with stillness....black with white. I did just that with my break, and now I'm back! The power of nature helps. We are reminded that the center between black and white is not gray, but a shade of blush pink from a flower or the blue green of an impending wave of the ocean. I'm lucky that the beach is just 2 minutes away and Mother Nature's bounty is in my own backyard. I can pick my tomatoes and basil in the stillness of the morning and mix with ingredients that don't need any further attention than to mingle with one another. And what partners better with tomatoes and basil than pasta? Add extra virgin olive oil, garlic and cheese to this super easy sauce and it just doesn't get any better. The heat of the freshly cooked pasta melts the cheese and melds the flavors with just a simple stirring. This pasta dish is beach food, as my friend Nancy calls it. You can be at the beach all day and come home welcomed by the savory aromas, boil the pasta, toss with the awaiting mixture and now you have dinner....a perfectly balanced dinner in all ways.

Linguine with Tomatoes and Basil
(Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook)

4 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes*
1 pound Brie cheese, rind removed, and torn into irregular pieces
1 cup cleaned fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
dash of cayenne
1 1/2 pounds linguine
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
*I used the equivalent of a combination of red plum, Park's Whopper, Black Prince and yellow cherry tomatoes.

Combine the tomatoes, Brie, basil, garlic, 1 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the peppers in a large serving bowl. Prepare at least 2 hours before serving and set aside, covered, at room temperature.Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining salt. Add the linguine and boil until tender but firm, 8 to 10 minutes.

Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato mixture. Serve at once, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. Top with the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4-6.

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deana(lostpastremembered) said...

You know, it's astonishing to me that there is a whole generation of cooks out there who are not familiar with Silver Palate... it was such a game changing book in its design and those lovely recipes! Thanks for humming their tune a little... great recipe and nice thoughts to reflect upon!

BHanson said...

This looks amazing - I'm going to make it tomorrow night. It will be a palate cleanser after the pulled pork sandwiches tonight.

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

This is perfect end-of-summer fare. Beautifully photographed!!

linda said...

your revitalizing has certainly shined thorugh…happy fall diane!
i, too, was excited to see silver palate…as the jewish holidays are upon us i went to my 3 sp books to help plan my menu.

2 Stews said...

Thanks all for stopping by! Yes, the Silver Palate Cookbook seemed to be a favorite among many and as Deana said, there is a generation who hasn't opened it up. I still refer to it often.

Happy Holidays, Linda and a great week to everyone!!

La Table De Nana said...

Yes yes yes..my favorite kind of pasta dish.. and beach scenes.. Perfect after break post.
Refreshing as anything~

Chocolate Freckles said...

This recipe looks amazing! and I loved your dishes!!!

patissierement-votre said...

I was looking for a pasta recipe with tomatoes and this one looks good :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a gorgeous dish. This is a perfect recipe in which to use a portion of the tomato harvest. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Meredith said...

Ah my sage friend...I knew I would find this...reading through and breezing by some of your blog today looking for this one specifically I am reminded of how exquisite it would be to have all of this in a book in my hands <3